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Problem with mask's fitting to tubing?
#1
This morning shortly before I got up, I became aware of a kind of flopping sound coming from the L-fitting that connects my Airfit F10 mask to the tubing from the machine. I soon got up and didn't think about it right away.

Then this evening when I first turned the machine on, the flopping sound was back and very pronounced. (Amplified by the airspace in the tubing, the sound is quite loud, and would keep me up, and probably my wife as well.) I see kind of a rubberized flap inside the L-fitting that I gather is designed to direct exhaled air out a vent hole, and I can only think that it's this flap that's not working correctly.

I tried washing and drying the L-fitting, but this didn't improve it. I then noticed that I had an identical L-fitting from a previous mask I'd tried, and I swapped this in to see if it would help. Unfortunately, the sound persisted. (This seemed odd to me that two of the L-fittings would fail in the same way at the same time.) I also tried swapping masks, but the problem remained. The only thing I didn't swap out was the hose, but it's hard to see how this would cause the problem.

Has anyone encountered this? Is there an easy fix? I can call the DME supplier in the morning and see how soon I can get them to send me a new one, but I may be CPAP-less for the time being unless I can figure out a way to fix it.

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#2
That sounds like you may not be getting enough pressure (or possibly intermittent pressure) from your flow generator to hold the emergency expiration valve closed. I suspect the reason may be you have started using the humidifier recently. That valve should never be "flapping" except when you shut the flow generator down while using the humidifier and it goes into the cool down mode and you exhale into the mask. During that time, the flow is reduced and will give the symptoms you describe. It's the life saver feature that keeps you from suffocating when the machine goes down while you're asleep. Test it without the humidifier attached or activated.
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#3
Thanks. The night before this problem first cropped up, I had put the machine into manual humidification mode, and it went through a fair amount of water during the night. However, before the next time I used the machine I'd put it back into auto humidification mode, the same configuration I'd been using for 2-3 months.

I'll try it without the humidifier, but I'm not clear on the relationship here. How exactly is it that using the humidifier can cause the air pressure to decrease?

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#4
To explain: The reduced air flow at certain stages when using the humidifier is so that when you turn the machine off the water vapor will not flow back into the flow generator where it could cause damage. That flow will continue for enough time to allow the water temperature to fall below the high vaporization point. That flow will also be there at the initial warm up stage in order to stop the warming up water from wetting the interior of the flow generator. That's by design and not a problem. It all takes place before and after your sleep session and you will not usually be expected to have the mask on at those times.
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#5
I use the same mask as Surferdude2. The only time that safety valve flaps is the few seconds between the time I strap in until I turn on the machine. Your valve hasn't fail. Your machine's blower is not working.
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#6
I see on your sidebar you're using the 4 and 20 blackbird settings for minimum and maximum pressure. That's usually a bad idea and we can discuss it further if you wish, but for openers try increasing the bottom end to at least 6 and see if the blackbirds stop flapping their wings.
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#7
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check it out further, including the possibility of upping the minimum pressure.

I did try just turning the machine on for a couple of minutes during the daytime this morning, and it was no longer "flapping." The inhalation part of the breathing cycle seemed normal, but when I exhaled it felt as though I had to push against more pressure than I remember being normal. (This was without making any adjustments -- for example, no change to the 4-20 cm pressure range.) Does this suggest anything else I ought to check out?

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#8
There might be an Expiratory relief setting that lowers pressure during exhale.
Some like the feature -- others don't
It's called EPR by ResMed and something else by Phillips-Respironics.
We need a P-R person to answer that one.

Thing is, these settings don't change by themselves.
So, there may be an issue with your machine; or, perhaps you are just getting accustomed to it.

Retired Guys increase in the min pressure number is sound. At 4, many people feel like they are not getting enough air.
Also, the machine starts a long ways from therapeutic pressure.




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#9
Okay, thanks, I'll look into it. I don't know that there's necessarily anything wrong with the machine. As noted, the flapping issue started after I changed the humidification mode, and the machine moved a lot of water through it the night when the flapping first started close to waking time. I've since changed that back to the default. Also, our air has been very dry, and I've been having sinus and nasal issues of various kinds. This makes it difficult to tell when an issue is related to the CPAP hardware or just reflects issues with my airway.

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#10
(01-23-2015, 03:14 PM)Dyssomniac Wrote: Okay, thanks, I'll look into it. I don't know that there's necessarily anything wrong with the machine. As noted, the flapping issue started after I changed the humidification mode, and the machine moved a lot of water through it the night when the flapping first started close to waking time. I've since changed that back to the default. Also, our air has been very dry, and I've been having sinus and nasal issues of various kinds. This makes it difficult to tell when an issue is related to the CPAP hardware or just reflects issues with my airway.

If you're using the heated tube, do you have the correct power supply?

The heated tube requires the 80 watt power supply. This should be stamped on the bottom of the power supply.

Terry


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